Why You Should Change Your Timing Belt

It’s important to have your timing belt looked at when your car has gone about 100,000 miles. This  is a good rule of thumb but always consult  each manufacturer for the the mileage interval that they recommend.

Plain & simple, don’t take the chance of your timing belt breaking or “jumping” a tooth.  Although many engines are considered “non interference”,  meaning that if the belt breaks the valves will not come in to contact or interfere with the pistons, causing engine damage. Even if they are non interference, if the engine is revving high enough the valves could “float” and still come in to contact with the pistons.

The other problem that may arise would be if the belt did not completely break but “jumps” a tooth or two. This will cause the valve timing to be off and can be a very difficult problem to diagnose. It can cause a host of issues including poor fuel economy, drivability concerns and engine lights. 

When replacing the belt be sure to check the water pump and idler pulleys and tensioner. It would not be good to have to redo a job six months later because a pump started leaking or a pulley started making noise.  Or even worse, the belt breaks due to a seized pulley. Yes, this  does happen.

In summary, it is not much fun to have an expense on your car that gives you nothing tangible in return. On the other hand, you can plan and budget for the cost of your timing belt . An engine replacement is never a planned expense.

John Simone (Owner / Master Mechanic)


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From Our Customers

 John at J&R Foreign Car Repair provides excellent service at an incredible price.

John’s ability to diagnose the most difficult problems, provide required repairs, and keep the bill to a reasonable level is amazing. John saved me from purchasing another used car. I have a Nissan Maxima 1995 purchased new it has about 100k miles with a serious starting problem. The starter will turn but it will not start. I had taken it to 5 mechanics before. All were extremely nice and, I thought, very knowledgeable- they have worked on various problems for me earlier and always provided a great service and very reasonable prices. Each has performed various diagnoses and some repair varied from replacing the ignition key, to the starter, various sensors, and spark plugs. The car seems to run better then it reverts to the same old behavior. At the end they all recommended taking it to the dealer. They all indicated to take it to the dealer citing their ability to diagnose the problem is limited to the diagnostic software they had and the dealer had full access to the software they will be able to provide more accurate diagnosis . Based on their recommendations I took the car to IRA Nissan in Tewksbury the bill was unreal very high compared to the 5 mechanics. Same thing the car performed a bit better but nothing tangible the same old problem.

So at this point I am ready to dump the car in the junk yard…..I took the car to John he kept it for few days and was able to diagnose the problem very effectively. John replaced the on board computer and couple of sensors. The car is running like new and the best part at a fraction of the cost of the dealer. John was able to diagnose and fix the problem accurately where 5 gas stations and the dealer where not able to do so. What a great service not to mention the price was more then reasonable. Now I can use the car for another 100k miles.

John saved me at least $5000-$7000. I don’t have to purchase another car for a while. I would strongly recommend John for any repair especially for foreign cars such as Audi, Mercedes……

– Elias